The Trump administration’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and its reimposition of US sanctions put the Iranian economy back into a stranglehold and discredited the reformists led by President Hassan Rouhani who had secured the deal. With the country already reeling from the US sanctions, the COVID-19 pandemic has delivered a heavy blow. As political factions mobilize for the 2021 elections, the situation is more unpredictable than ever.
The latest political realignment in the Islamic Republic resulted in détente with the West even as regional upheaval has drawn Tehran into overextended military interventions. While Iran's future is uncertain, it is definitely not a hegemon in the making.